When I was still a young and naïve English major at Indiana University of Pennsylvania, I played with the idea of being one of those crazy people who briefly tries stunts and then writes about them. Like A. J. Jacobs or Barbara Ehrenreich. Who knew that I’d get to live out my dream as a graduate student doing a crazy brief, 6-week stint as a marketing intern at a data company?
Well, let me tell you, it’s been a wild ride.
Excerpt from my diary. March 6, 2016, Day 1:
I awoke with butterflies a-flutter in my stomach. Today was the day.
Today, I began my life as a marketing intern with CivicScience.
I fought city traffic during the 13-mile drive from the suburbs of South Park to the Pittsburgh neighborhood of East Liberty and arrived at 9:30am feeling very overdressed. I quickly learned that I worked among a team of totally chill nerds. It would be jeans or bust for me from now on.
First, they sat me at a desk facing a real-life window. I’m an intern and I get to look out a window. If that doesn’t signify a great office, I don’t know what does!
After settling in, I began my journey by sitting in oodles of meetings, and boy, oh boy, do these people know what they’re doing. Talk about hitting the internship jackpot, dearest Diary.
I can’t wait to see what the next 6 weeks has in store for me.
Over my first week, I learned that CivicScience runs polls over diverse websites and weighs the results in a super expert and exact way that my intern brain still hasn’t quite figured out.
Luckily, I was hired to work with words and not numbers. But, I still knew right then and there that I had a lot to learn from these people.
My first real meaty gig as marketing intern was helping to compose our pièce de résistance, the greatest eBook ever written, 102 Cool Consumer Insights. In composing this book, I had the joy of combing through the vast collection of insights CivicScience always has at its fingertips and picking data I found most interesting, strange, or insightful. I learned things about consumers that I didn’t even know I wanted to learn.
The tone of this book was great practice for learning the CivicScience voice — one that says, “I can be fun and quirky because I know I’m smart.”
We decided we liked our Consumer Insights eBook so much, we wrote a blog post about it.
While I only had time to grace the CivicScience blog with one insight-driven post (check it out!) there are so many more I could have written. I felt like every day a new story came along in the news — be it the United Airlines debacle or the Pepsi backlash — that suggested a change in buying trends.
In response to these trends, CivicScience poses new questions, or looks at its vast question library to observe current events, and finds the deeper story to tell about them. Believe me, there are a lot of stories out there and CivicScience has created a really useful tool for making sense of it all.
Things really started picking up steam after passing the halfway point. Our consumer insights eBook was so popular I got to work on two more eBooks, which, at the time of writing this, are not for the public’s eyes. Why? Because they are very big, very important, very insightful pieces that need some time to simmer. One of them I even copy-edited alongside John Dick, who is none other than the CEO and Founder of the whole entire company. Jealous?
Weeks 5 & 6
In week 5, I began helping with a cool marketing campaign, which felt like giving very professional, capable, knowledgeable, eloquent nudges to certain people. I wrote emails, because I’m a Millennial in the field of communications, and Millennials know how to internet like it’s their job (especially when they’re the marketing intern and it is their job).
And, as I prepared to end my internship experience in week 6, I cracked my knuckles and proved my love for copy editing and proofreading as piece after piece came across my virtual desk. I was determined to leave this place with a trail of track changes in my wake.
I really got my hands dirty (with pen ink!) during this internship, and I leave this week with a new understanding of market trends, content creation, and human nature. I have a heart full of gratitude for the opportunity to work with some of the nicest people I’ve ever had the privilege of sharing a workspace with.
I give this experience 5/5.